The abstract on the wall
is of elastic, membranous,
orientable colour: instar of dusklit lakewater
or gold-feathered bird on ice and green night.
A glossy white frame wraps the acrylics
like the skirting that wraps the living
room window opposite. From low a forest
rivers in the painting’s bottom third: a reflection
of trees poured from across the road, in sunlight
cut up by fat fingers of slat-silhouettes.
Blurs of elms tendril the book I read
(on the page, a terrible fish rises toward me).
Ravens hook into me. The reflection is elliptic:
a window-eye lidded by a veranda roof.
It holds me in its palmleaf green iris. There
I daydream a rosella –
one of the chicks that died inside a wall
behind the tv last year – waddles
into frame, struts in eye-
glint on the painting’s glass
sheath. It puffs itself up, ready to shed down
and asbestos fluff, to be an imago, but a cloud
slowly chokes the light. A red puddle congeals
where night siphons dregs of mirror.
Fat strips of black tape
sticky back on a crooked square
we cut out where the wall muffled-chirped.
A few chicklings, orphans, survived.
Now, when the house creaks your dogs lean
over the potted ferns and sniff
the empty frame. (Their ears still prick
up when the air ribs
in two-stroke piston fire). Which warp
of colour draws you
in the painting? I remember the time
you let a ladybug crawl over your hand
onto a marigold. The rosella-dream re
aches through glass; colours shadows
hatched on walls.
Kyle Guest is a Canberran poet, whose work seeks to discover and combine different points of view in a single form to expand a moment’s vision. His poetry has previously appeared in Cordite Poetry Review.